Edmond Police Chief Bob Ricks, who has served in several key FBI positions during his law enforcement career, said according to the evidence there is no doubt about who killed President Kennedy.
Still today, especially this time of year, programs on cable channels detail theories about the possibility of multiple shooters, which would elevate the incident to the level of a conspiracy.
During his long and distinguished law enforcement career, Ricks served in numerous roles with the FBI, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Later in his FBI career Ricks became involved in the investigation. Ricks was in charge of the violent crime program in the late 80s and the FBI was still following up on leads. He has read volumes of information about the investigation, including confidential files.
“People probably don’t realize it never was closed by the FBI,” said Ricks, who was a special agent in charge of the agency’s Oklahoma City division when the bombing occurred in April, 1995. “Even when I was there we still had leads that would come about mostly by con artists who were trying in some way to make money off of the deal.”
Ricks said the Warren Commission’s work was high quality.
“There’s no doubt that Lee Harvey Oswald was responsible,” he said.
Ricks said conspiracy theories have been disproved, but those who believe the assassination was a conspiracy remain. For example, when Oswald’s body was exhumed it turned out to be Oswald, Ricks said.
“But people believe it,” he said. “The problem with it is in almost every theory is that your government is a monster, that in some way it comes back that the government perpetrated that. As you know, there are no secrets in government. To think government could carry out a conspiracy and somehow conceal that is really the height of naivety.”
At 11:30 a.m. CST, Nov. 22, 1963, as President Kennedy’s limousine proceeded at about 11 mph along Elm Street toward the triple underpass, a bullet passed through the president’s neck; a second bullet shattered the right side of his skull, according to the Warren Commission’s final report. Texas Gov. John Connally suffered bullet wounds in his back, the right side of his chest, right wrist and left thigh.
Connally testified he recognized the first noise as a rifle shot and wondered if it was an assassination attempt. From his position in the right jump seat immediately in front of the president, he instinctively turned to his right because the shot appeared to come from over his right shoulder, the Warren Commission reported. His wife also heard a noise from her right.
Spectators at Houston and Elm Streets told investigators they saw a rifle being fired in the direction of the president’s limousine from the easternmost window of the sixth floor on the south side of the Texas School Book Depository Building.
Three depository employees watching from the fifth floor heard shots fired from the floor immediately above.
The Warren Commission concluded Oswald assassinated the president “acting alone and without advice or assistance.” Members found no credible evidence that Oswald was a member of a foreign or domestic conspiracy of any kind. And they concluded there was no evidence he was involved with any criminal or underworld elements or that he had any association with Jack Ruby, who fired the single bullet that killed Oswald.
“No credible evidence suggests that the shots were fired from the railroad bridge over the triple underpass, the nearby railroad yards or any place other than the Texas School Book Depository Building,” members stated in the final report.
Ricks said the assassination influenced how the nation protects presidents. He said it also illustrated the existence of both domestic and foreign threats, and the need to continue to remain vigilant.
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